The Usability Post
Thoughts on design and user experience by Dmitry Fadeyev

Jakob Nielsen Interview

Dorm Room Tycoon has published an interview with Jakob Nielsen, covering mobile and Web usability. It’s worth listening to (or you can read the transcript).

A few highlights:

The sort of the smaller tablets, the mini tablets, if you just take a regular tablet, a big sized tablet and squeezed that application down, or that website down, you’re not getting good usability. Conversely, if you take a phone design, and you just enlarge it a little bit, then it will work, but it’s not going be that great either. If you want to have great usability, you have to design for each of these different screen sizes.

It’s hard to keep on this, but one of the plagues that’s really on the web right now is overuse of carousels and this notion that home page can’t have one main feature. It has to have ten of them, and you rotate through them at either a rapid pace that nobody can read them, or so slow a pace that nobody knows that they’re there because they always scroll past.

You install the app, and the first thing that happens when you start it up is it comes up and says, “This app wants to send you notifications,” and basically disrupts your entire day. Most people say, “No. Let me first get to know and like you.” Then, the reciprocity principle will kick in. […] You first have to do something good to the user, and then they will reciprocate.

“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

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Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

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